Autism Acceptance Month – Day #6: Autism By The Numbers (Locally)

In the conclusion of the subseries of the larger Autism Acceptance Month series, today we look at the local numbers in Fayette County and Westmoreland County.

In Fayette County, most individuals with autism receiving services were White/Caucasian (91%). A smaller proportion of
individuals with autism receiving services in Fayette County were Black or African American (6%), Hispanic/Latino (1%), or
Other (2%) when compared to the rest of Pennsylvania. This comparison between county and state demographics can be
helpful to understand what specific or additional challenges your county may face.

In Fayette County, the majority of individuals with autism receiving services are between the ages of 5-17. However, the number of adults over 21 years old is increasing as the population of individuals with autism receiving services ages.

This should be a wake up call for those in human services in Fayette County. Many of the individuals county, both of age and the larger 5-12 population will be or are in the transition process to Adulthood. There needs to be a plan for both system and natural supports in our community as adults on the spectrum age. Many on the spectrum, including myself have common struggles and need specific supports for ASD. We simply do not have what we need to be successful and thriving members of society and community.

Westmoreland County

In Westmoreland County, most individuals with autism receiving services were White/Caucasian (92%). A smaller proportion of individuals with autism receiving services in Westmoreland County were Black or African American (4%), or Other (4%) when compared to the rest of Pennsylvania.
In Westmoreland County, the majority of individuals with autism receiving services are between the ages of 5-17. However, the number of adults over 21 years old is increasing as the population of individuals with autism receiving services ages.

However there are some more supports for individuals with autism in Westmoreland County, included are transitional services and an Autism Society of America Chapter.

While I do agree we have a wide array of services in the Behavioral Health realm, I do feel we need to enhance services for the individuals in the Autism Spectrum community.

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